Turtle Crossing.

Thanks for the comments on my post about my need for my words to have purpose. It was so helpful to write it, because it became clear to me that I’m still working hard to stay blocked.

My Inner Critic is all like, Well, see, Karen? If no one comments, then you aren’t relevant, and there are so.many.people talking on the Internet about things that matter WAY more than your piddly little issues. You should stop writing. You’re not relevant.

She’s really mean.

But this week’s lesson, I’m exploring the idea of how it seems easier to stay in my ingrained patterns instead of breaking them. And it’s been really interesting – and a little shocking – to see just how much my Inner Critic runs the show when it comes to me doing something new. Especially now, when I’m not working much. The focus is all, Do you really deserve this?

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I have been spending a fair amount of time on my bike in this training cycle. The general theory of my coach is that if you spend more time on the bike in your training, you’ll gain more power and efficiency on the bike, which will allow you to do the ride fast but without taxing your body, which sets you up for a much stronger run leg.

I LOVE riding right now. There’s tons of sun and it’s beautiful. And I am so lucky in that I have some absolutely gorgeous rides on country roads near my house. So I’ve been taking advantage – riding in the middle of the day, in the full on sun and warmth.

So good.

My route, though, passes me through so many little ponds and streams and wet places – I see turtles everywhere, on the road, in the road, on the sides of the road. And there’s something about them, these slow, deliberate, vulnerable soft beings, protected only by this thick and inflexible shell on their backs, putting one foot on front of the other while the rest of the world is rushing around them, often unseeing – until it’s too late.

I stop EVERY time to help them, and even when I don’t, I’m always scanning the roads to see if there are any I can help.

And I save turtles, one at a time.

There was one tiny painted turtle upside down in the middle of the road, frantically trying to right himself.

There was one big snapper turtle who hissed at me, then harrumphed back off into the poison ivy, grumbling at my temerity to think that HIM, of ALL PEOPLE, needed help. He was fine, thank you very much.

There were a couple of medium size painted turtles who frantically tried to swim out of my grasp and seemed to sigh in relief when I placed them back down.

But there were ones I couldn’t save, too. The one in the middle of the road that looked like he was hiding, until I saw the crack in his shell and the blood under him.

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Writing, right now, comes really slowly, and deliberately, and it’s not easy. My journaling goes very easily, but when I sit at the computer to actually WRITE, I feel like I’m like one of those turtles at the edge of the road, watching the cars whizz by.

It’s SO much easier to get sucked into FB articles and other people’s posts and comments and read the book of short stories I got from the library (oh thank GOD I CAN READ AGAIN! IT’S WONDERFUL!) , marveling at the genius of the writers, wondering, how do they pack so much TRUTH into such a tiny story? What was their process for writing it?

My process right now is ponderous, and slow, and I feel weighed down with all the years my Inner Critic has run the show inside my head – all the words I haven’t written, all the energy I haven’t spent writing. I need to find my process, and it’s GOING to be slow, because I have to figure out how to disarm my Inner Critic and tap into the flow of words inside me. I know it’s there, but it FEELS like it’s going to take me a long time to get there.

I’m at the point where I kind of wish a well-meaning biker would pick me up and bring me to the other side of the road.

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